Learning Love God's Way
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
So this is what the Lord intended love to be, for all of us. It doesn't get much clearer than that. It seems a great deal of problems on this world could be solved if lovers, families, even countries practiced these few verses just a little more seriously and took it to heart. Always use patience, be kind, be open to the other view, don't make so much of yourself and become spiteful when someone doesn't agree.
I make these mistakes myself and stray from the perfect formula time and time again. Sometimes patience wears thin, I do disagree at times and do become defensive and feel some malice toward those who don't live or believe in the same way as I do. In certain ways, during certain times in my life, I have been spoiled and for a time, even trained to believe I was better than the rest, that I deserved better than the rest. When reality hits though, that is when you see who you really are and who's left with you when the smoke clears.
Much like the latter verses, even at an adult age, I sometimes spoke and acted like a child. I may still have been a child on the inside trying to find a direction at a time when the world was exclaiming to everyone to live life and enjoy every moment. There was work to be done, most people didn't know it though, it was the same with me. Finally, when I really needed to do some real work, perhaps I wasn't ready. Perhaps I became exhausted because I had never really did any real work. Fun ruled the day when it came to higher education and perhaps a topic for the future, struggle and sadness ruled the time before that.
Now though, in my older, more mature, mental age, I realize how poor past decisions were. This being February 14th, I am left to ponder the past and wonder of the future and what I will make of it. The Lord has been kind to me. More than a few times he has provided those that have loved me. In my childish times though, I reasoned like a child and let them go, let them slip through my fingers because of dreams of a more grandiose life or lying to myself and saying I was ready for something serious when I really wasn't. I didn't want to grow, I wanted to remain a child a little longer. There's a time in your life though when you give up your childish ways, I had to do so the last two years and it was quite painful. I was not prepared for the path I had chosen at the time but foolishly followed down into what was very close to oblivion. By sheer grace alone was I saved from the guillotine and in turn had to make serious, realistic goals for myself with the Lord's guidance.
Finally in my life, I can say I am building a future. Building something that will endure and sustain me and the future family I hope to have. I won't shy away from it, I pray everyday for God's strength and clarity that will allow me to keep building and not allow myself to fall off the path that He has given me. Although I ache and dream at times for the old life I thought I was destined to live, I know He has a plan, and has always had one. I must fight on! I must trust in Him. He has saved me twice already, once from the devil and once from myself. I do not want to lose my way again. I do want to do what others have succeeded in though. By God's grace, I want to build a life, build a family, have the means to support it, and to thank God everyday for the opportunity.
“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three, but the greatest of these is love.” So now I have all three, I have faith in my God who has placed me on a new path. He has given me dreams and with them hope, hope for so many good things, so many good experiences to come, and He has given me His unwavering love. Love, and the secure feeling that can only be given when in the Lord's hands. I have come out stronger, more able, more dependable, and more at peace even when life is not altogether peaceful. I am even more humble, for when you are not, you will come to realize a fall if one comes to you will be from that much higher and harder to bear. I do thank God for my lessons, the fall only prepares me that much more for the future and and gives me a climb that will be that much more sweet when it is finished.